Playing Conservative Pays Off for Oakland Raiders Against Jaguars


Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders earned their first victory of the young 2013 season with a 19-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at home, and it was a joyous celebration to have earned the first victory.

The Jaguars entered the game without quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was injured in the previous week. Receiver Justin Blackman was serving a suspension, and tight end Marcedes Lewis jad a lower leg injury. Similar to last year’s game, star running back Maurice Jones-Drew left the game in the first half due to an ankle injury, and was a non-factor.

The Jaguars were as helpless as they were in the season opener agains the Chiefs. In the season opener, the Jags punted 11 times – a franchise record, and they scored two points against the Chiefs.

Jacksonville got their first touchdown on Chad Henne’s 13-yard pass to Clay Harbor after a fumble by Darren McFadden late in the fourth quarter.

A team that is struggling looks for the positive — in this case, the Jags — had little to be positive about. There were many more blunders than highlights, as the Jaguars went over 36 minutes without a first down and didn’t generate any offense until the game was out of hand.

The Raiders took full advantage of the stagnate Jaguars, looking like a fully operational NASCAR stock car at Chicago this week end.

Darren McFadden rumbled, bumbled, and fumbled his way to 129 rushing yards on 19 carries. Hopefully this will be the step he needs to get back to his dominating playing style. McFadden’s error for the day was not protecting the ball late in the game.

Terrelle Pryor ran for 50 yards and threw for 126 in his first home start for the Raiders now. Pryor, who beat out Matt Flynn for the starting position, was much less sensational than he was a week ago against the Colts, when he recorded the eighth 200-yard passing, 100-yard rushing game since the 1970 merger.

Yet, by not being so flashy, he also avoided many of the mistakes that plagued him a week ago, when his two interceptions contributed to a 21-17 loss. Pryor was often content to check down to shorter options and leave the game in his defense’s hands. If needed, he could also rely on his feet to avoid a sack.

Pryor’s stats point out his conservative play: 15/24 for 126 yards, with NO interceptions, and NO lost fumbles.

Can I get an Amen?

His QB rating of 76 is noting to write home about yet; if it wins games, does it matter?

The battered offensive line allowed three sacks on the day. Pryor may or may not have been able to scramble away, but being conservative in a game you’re winning is not a bad thing. Why force something and turn the ball over to the other team, giving them momentum?

The defense showed improvement, applying pressure all day on Chad Henne. He was caught behind the line five times. His percentage of completions will shock you: 25/38 for 214 yards, one TD, and a QB rating of 92.1. The second game in a row that the Raider secondary still is giving up way to much yardage and needs to show much needed improvement in the next week.

Congratulations to the entire Raider team, front office and coaches for a job well done. A high five to all the Raider Nation. Just win baby!